After a thrilling weekend of racing at last weeks Albstadt leg of the UCI MTB World Cup Circuit, all eyes turned to Czechoslovakia and the Nové Mēsto track.
See what the course is like from the perspective of a World Champ!
This year has seen the introduction of a XCC race in the elite men’s and women’s fields, prior to the main XCO race on the Sunday. The XCC is used to determine the 2 front rows on the start grid and is a spectators dream. Redbull TV provided coverage for the first time and enabled spectators from around the world to see the watts being laid down by the best Cross Country riders in the world.
The women’s XCC event was won by Annika Langvad, who put together a powerful display…laying down the watts which the rest of the field couldn’t match. In the elite men’s season so far we have seen the young guns, Gaze and Van der Poel in particular, giving Nino a run for his money. There is not doubt that the future holds some big battles. Nino suffered a big crash in the XCC, but fought back to take third overall behind a flying Sam Gaze who took the win. The main XCO event had all the elements needed to produce something special! The crowd at Nové Mēsto are truly unique and create an atmosphere on the course which give the riders an extra gear when they need it most.
The racing was flat out from the start gun, a few big crashes in the men’s race and one of the closest finishes in recent history means that Nové Mēsto 2018 will go down in the history books! The young guns continue to push Nino to the limit, “That was crazy. I thought I had him, then I saw him coming on the right. That’s the hardest sprint I’ve ever had!”. Anton Cooper, who is only 23, came very close to ‘pipping’ him in the sprint…it takes a very special ride to see the World Champ collapse on the floor after sprinting for the win.
Both the women’s and men’s main XCO races ended in sprint finishes, with Annika and Nino taking home first place. It’s been a while since we last saw that!
All in all it was a phenomenal weekend of racing and its left us craving more! The next race on the circuit is Val di Sole on the 7/8th of July, so there is plenty of time for you to test out a few tricks that you learnt from the pro’s this weekend on your local XC track and become faster!
We can’t wait for Val di Sole, not sure how we are going to last a whole month without XCO action. If you missed the weekend’s action you can catch-up here!